Term for qualitatively special wines in connection with celestial phenomena. There were always outstanding vintages which were connected with the appearance of a great comet. In old times, due to widespread superstition, the appearance of these celestial bodies was assumed to be the cause and these wines were called "comet wines". The best known example is probably the 1811er often mentioned in Germany. In this year, a comet discovered by Honoré Flaugergues (1755-1830) appeared, one of the three largest to date, with a tail length well over 100 million kilometres. Above it there is a picture where the comet can be seen above the castle Ratz near the community of St. Goar. A second example is the outstanding vintage 1858, in which the comet named after its discoverer Giovanni Donati appeared.
As a third example, the very bright comet Tebbutt appeared in 1861, observable with the naked eye and discovered by an Australian amateur astronomer. However, the year is assessed differently in the relevant wine literature. The fourth and last example is the year 1911, also known as the comet year, although Halley's comet (which returns regularly every 76 years on average) had already appeared in the sky a year earlier. The Halley publication years 1834 (before) and 1986 (for the last time so far), however, were good vintages, but by far not wines of the century. A possible comet influence is however to be assigned to the area of esotericism. See also under special wines.